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Funeral Live Streaming FAQs

A funeral live streaming camera at a church showing guests in pews

Got a question about our service? Read our Funeral Live Streaming FAQs to find answers to some of the common questions we’re asked.

How do we watch your live streams?

We create a personalised and private web page for every live stream. We send you the link, and you then pass it to everyone you’d like to watch. We understand not everyone is technically minded, so we keep everything as simple as possible. There’s no password, special software etc – you simply click through to the page and the live stream will play automatically on whatever device you are using.

What’s on the personalised live streaming page?

On the page you can:

  • Set a reminder for the live stream in your calendar
  • Watch the live stream (and recorded video after the event)
  • See the names of everyone who watched
  • Leave a message in the online guestbook
  • Read and download the ceremony booklet
  • Access help from our online assistant
  • Translate the page into different languages
What will people watching the live stream see?

Our aim is to ensure your online viewers feel at the heart of the ceremony no matter how, when or where they’re watching. We often hear from viewers that it feels just like being there in person.

We provide a professionally produced and vision mixed video. We are able to constantly mix between a variety of different camera angles and shots, clearly capturing all elements and detail of the ceremony.

We do our best to capture as much detail as we can in addition to the ceremony itself – such as the flowers, the setting, the faces of those attending, any photos or personal mementos etc. Elements such as photo slideshows and video tributes are included.

We film discreetly with care and compassion from a fixed position, ensuring we remain unobtrusive. Importantly, we try our best to avoid close-ups of people in grief or distress.

Do you film the coffin (whether open or closed)?

The coffin, casket (or urn) is one of the focal points of the ceremony so it’s important to people watching that it can be seen. Many of the coffins we see are beautifully crafted, made from all kinds of materials, and are often decorated with love and care.

We make sure to show the flower arrangements on the coffin, and any photos and important symbols that are placed on the coffin as part of the ceremony. Close-up shots of the coffin are always filmed from a distance. We are careful to always film funeral ceremonies with care and consideration.

If the coffin is open, we will film it only if requested by the family. We understand this can be culturally important for some families. If there is a viewing before the main ceremony begins, please let us know in advance if you would like this filmed.

Do you show the photo tribute slideshow in the live stream?

Yes. This is a very important part of the ceremony. We ask you to send us a copy of the photo slideshow in advance so we can include it in the live stream in full quality.

Can people see the Mass Booklet or Order of Ceremony online?

We ask you to send us a PDF of the Mass Booklet, Order of Service and/or Prayer Card in advance so we can include this on the live streaming page. Viewers can read the booklet and also download a copy to keep.

Do you film outside the church (or venue) before and after the funeral?

The technical requirements of live streaming mean we work from a fixed setup and we are mostly limited to filming what happens inside the venue or church. Therefore, the arrival and/or departure of the hearse is not usually part of our standard live stream. However, we may be able to include an additional camera crew with a live link, we may be able to film extra elements before the stream starts and include that footage in the live video, or add additional footage to an edited version of the live stream video for later viewing. Requests must be made at time of booking so we can discuss possible options.

Can we watch the live stream video later?

As soon as the live stream ends, the video becomes available as a recording. Experience shows us that while many watch live, other prefer to watch at a time which is more convenient or comfortable to them. By default, the video is online for one month, after which it automatically goes offline. We can shorten or extend this time upon request.

Can we download and keep the live stream video afterwards?

A few days after the ceremony, we’ll email you a special link so you can download and keep the ceremony video.

Can you tell us who watched the live stream?

We ask everyone who comes to your live streaming page to check in. A list of names is displayed on the page so you can see exactly how many people watched either the live stream or the recorded video, and exactly who they were.

Do you provide captions or translations into different languages?

English language captions are automatically generated once the live stream video ends, so captions are available to watch with the recorded video afterwards.

The CeremonyCast website can be immediately translated into a range of different languages using the language selector option on the top right of every page.

Can viewers leave messages for us?

Every live streaming page included an online guest book where viewers can leave messages for you. Don’t forget to copy and keep them before the page goes offline.

Do you record the ceremony as well as live streaming it?

Yes we do, for every ceremony, in HD quality. And you can download the video recording after the event, to keep, at no extra charge.

A recording is also an essential backup in case of any streaming issues. While these issues are rare, any disappointment would be compounded further if there was no recording whatsoever of the ceremony.

The recording is immediately available to view when the live stream ends, so anyone who cannot watch the ceremony at the time can view at their convenience. The video stays online for one month.

What does your equipment setup look like?

We keep kit to the minimum so our footprint is small. Often people tell us they didn’t even notice us there, which is always a compliment!

CeremonyCast Funeral Live Streaming in Hunters Hill

We have two cameras which we set up on tripods in a fixed position next to our control table. We don’t move or roam around (we are tethered by cables) but we can still get plenty of various angles and views by pointing the cameras in different directions and using the zooms.

We choose a spot where we’re out of the way but can still see everything clearly. We’re usually off to the side or towards the back, depending on what space there is.

Our standard crew is just one person. We are solo operators, managing all aspects of your ceremony webcast ourselves. This fits with our approach of keeping everything easy, simple and straightforward.

How do you get good sound?

Clear and clean audio is absolutely a key part of our webcasts. We understand how vital it is to be able to hear everything and everyone.

We use pro-grade wireless microphones, placed in the best positions to capture every word. We also give your Priest or Celebrant their own lapel mic to wear.

Or we can also use a direct audio feed from your venue or Celebrant’s PA to ensure good quality sound.

Why can’t we stream the ceremony ourselves from a phone?

Live streaming sounds easy but in practice you’ll soon encounter all kinds of issues and pitfalls. Can you be sure your DIY job isn’t going to look and sound terrible? How will you get clear audio? Or be able to see all the key moments clearly? Will you be able to avoid your stream being automatically cut off by Facebook or YouTube because copyrighted music is detected? How will you know the best settings to choose – or will you even get a stream out at all?

Handing this important task to those who can produce a quality product is always the best idea. There’s only one chance to get it right. Think of it like decorating your home. Sure, you can go to Bunnings, buy some paint, rollers and brushes and paint it yourself. But it’s always much harder work than you expect and it never looks anywhere as good as getting it done by a professional team…

Do you have your own internet connection?

Good internet is absolutely key to a successful livestream. Across Sydney, coverage is generally very good and we have our own mobile WiFi connection to use. If your location has WiFi available, let us know, as we’ll use the network with best results when we have a choice available.

Our mobile WiFi connection gives us good speeds and a reliable connection in the vast majority of cases. But it’s important to note that network coverage and quality varies for reasons outside our control. There are many factors that can impact the performance of a mobile network such as congestion, proximity to the tower, interference from buildings and even the weather. Speeds at the same location can vary day to day, and by time of day. Good service one day is no guarantee of the same good service another day. Internet connections (particularly mobile ones) can fluctuate unexpectedly which may cause momentary blips. These are usually temporary and the stream soon continues on. We’ll warn you on the day if the internet connection on-site is slow, and we can also put a message on your live stream page so your viewers are also aware conditions are not optimal. This happens only rarely, but the nature of live streaming means it’s always a possibility.

We do our best to avoid any issues by carrying out site tests on arrival so we can stream using the best balance of stability and quality. We also record while we stream to ensure there’s always a complete backup of the ceremony. So if the stream is interrupted in any way, we will replace the webcast with the backup recording as soon as possible so later viewings are not affected.

How many cameras do you use?

Our funeral live streams are filmed using two cameras, which offer an ample variety of different shots. The cameras are mounted on tripods and are constantly readjusted between different directions, wide shots and close-ups to track and capture all the elements of your ceremony. We set up our streaming desk in a position where we have a good view but still out of the way, so we can film as unobtrusively as possible. We vision mix your ceremony live, cutting between the shots. It’s just like watching a TV program.

The venue already has live streaming. Do we need you?

Some churches, chapels and venues offer free live streaming as part of your booking. While this may appeal on a cost basis, the CeremonyCast service offers much more sophistication and a much more polished and professional result.

Church options are usually automated services or operated by a volunteer, not a dedicated professional technical operator. And when things go wrong – and live streaming can be challenging – a free service you’re not paying for may not take priority when issues arise.

They are also much more basic than what we offer. Chapel webcasts are filmed by fixed cameras with minimal adjustment, rather like a security camera. The quality of both video and audio is not as clear as what our cameras can capture. Modern live streaming has quickly moved on to expectations of far better quality and higher production values. We’re able to offer a better-looking video with a far wider range of camera angles capturing ALL the details of the ceremony, better audio and an experienced and professional crew.

Privacy is another factor. Our funeral live stream service is totally private and bespoke, We also use a professional live streaming platform. Beware of live streams hosted on a public YouTube channel which can fall foul of automatic copyright restrictions when it comes to music.

Don’t forget, you’re also able to download and keep a copy of the video. And we add extra elements to our live streams such as an embedded Order of Service/Mass Booklet, and we’ll give you the names of everyone who watched.

Can your live streams and videos be viewed in all countries?

People watch our live streams from all around the world. But it’s worth noting that some countries, notably China, blocks access to most live streaming and social media platforms. So if you have family in China wishing to watch your ceremony, they need to do a test first. Send them this link to see if they can access our website, and the video on the page:

If they can see and play the video on that page, then they should be able to view the live stream.

Do you live stream via Zoom?

We live stream to the CeremonyCast website via a professional streaming video platform (Vimeo) which is just like streaming Netflix or watching a YouTube video. Having a one-way broadcast is really important because it gives us full control over all technical settings and aspects of the live stream and gives a superior and reliable viewing experience to everyone watching.

Apps like Zoom, Teams and WhatsApp are designed for business meeting scenarios where it’s important all participants in the call can see, hear and interact with each other in real time. To make this possible, the video and audio is highly compressed. Speed takes priority and image quality takes a bit hit to make that happen, which is why other people in these calls sometimes appear blocky, their video is jerky, or simply just drop off the call completely for a brief moment. In a corporate talking-head meeting, this is the accepted compromise to allow conversations to happen with minimum delay, but this is not acceptable for professional live streaming.

A live streaming setup becomes particularly important when the number of viewers scales to a large number, otherwise video and audio quality would degrade to an unacceptable level. And when you’re streaming a funeral, a video conferencing app is not an appropriate choice when there is no requirement for those watching to actively take part, or indeed any wish for viewers experiencing a very personal moment to do so on camera.

Conferencing apps also require accounts, log ins and passwords which adds unnecessary complication. It’s important to keep everything as easy as possible because people watching range from tech whizzes to technophobes so with our setup, all you have to do is click a link.

We avoid streaming to YouTube or Facebook etc as these platforms use automated copyright matching algorithms which prevent the inclusion of music in a live stream. The stream will be automatically muted or even terminated in such circumstances.

How much live streaming time is included?

Each funeral live streaming package has ample streaming time included. These are set out in our Service Agreement. While we don’t watch the clock, let us know in advance if there’s anything additional to the usual that you need live streamed which may require extra time.

Do you offer online help?

We have a page of advice and tips to help you watch our live streams, but most people don’t encounter any issues. We also offer an AI Assistant called CeremonyCast Charlie who can give specific advice tailored to your questions.

What areas do you cover?

CeremonyCast covers Sydney, Southern Highlands, Wollongong, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

What are your fees?

We make sure our fees are affordable, competitive and represent good value. We charge less than many other live streaming companies. Contact us for our latest prices,

Can you provide other Audio-Visual services for funerals?

Yes – we have an Audio Visual package in addition to our livestreaming services.

The AV producer is a second member of staff who looks after all the tech associated with the ceremony. This means setting up the projector and screen or TV, the mics, stands and speakers, the computer or laptop, ensuring everything connects together seamlessly, and then playing all the ceremony media on cue using professional presentation software.

The AV producer also does the pre-production in the lead up to the ceremony; sourcing and downloading the music, creating a holding slide for the venue screens, (sometimes) creating the photo tribute slideshow, and producing the recorded video tributes (these recorded videos arrive needing resizing, trimming, editing or audio adjustments in advance).

If you book CeremonyCast for AV, our policy is to always use our own equipment, irrespective of what’s available at the venue. This is because we cannot give any confidence to the condition or working order of the kit that’s provided, and we also cannot guarantee to be able to troubleshoot problems with unfamiliar equipment. Our own setup has been tested to work in various different configurations and we can fix any issues immediately.

Do you support any charities?

CeremonyCast is proud to support a range of Australian charities helping people through different life issues. We see at first-hand the inspiring work they do and we’re glad to give back by regularly donating. Choosing CeremonyCast means you too are directly helping these deserving causes.

How is CeremonyCast different to other live streaming companies?

CeremonyCast has been live streaming funerals since 2018. We are recommended by funeral directors, churches, and families alike and are proud to embrace our values of respect, reputation and reliability. We keep our service easy and simple and our fees competitive and affordable. We charge less than many of the other streaming companies.

We come from a variety of backgrounds including national TV and radio broadcasting in the UK and Australia, professional photography and videography and Funeral Celebrancy. Our skills, knowledge and know-how all combine in a unique way to offer you a professional and caring service.

How do I book?

Email us here or call 02 8325 1722.